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Photograph: EPA/ABDELHAK SENNA

Thousands of trainee teachers Sunday protested in the Moroccan capital Rabat against a government plan to cut education jobs.

The protesters carried placards calling for jobs as security forces deployed in the area followed the march without interfering.

About 5,000 people took part in the rally that defied a government ban on protests, according to organizers.

They said that the authorities had barred hundreds from travelling to Rabat to join the march.

The rally comes days after anti-unemployment protests in neighbouring Tunisia developed into riots, prompting the authorities there to declare a night-time curfew across the country.

In February 2011, Morocco witnessed pro-democracy protests inspired by a popular uprising in Tunisia that spread across the Middle East and North Africa.

At the time, the Arab Spring revolutions, which deposed rulers of Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, prompted Morocco's King Mohammad VI to introduce limited reforms.

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